From the 6th to 9th October, election practitioners from the Jordanian Ministry of the Interior engaged in strategic planning at the Marriot’s Jordan Valley Hotel Dead Sea Resort and Spa. Two 2-day sessions were run with 22 participants in each session. The event was organized by IFES and comes after a number of other BRIDGE activities that have been run in the country. Heads of electoral districts came from across the country to attend the strategic planning training.
The participants are responsible for the management of elections in their electoral districts and do this on a part-time or temporary basis, balancing this work with their other responsibilities for the Ministry of the Interior. Coming from 42 electoral districts (excluding the 3 Bedouin districts) across 11 governorates, the participants are the highest ranking election practitioners outside of head office.
The BRIDGE course depended heavily on the strategic planning for EMBs document that was compiled by Joe Baxter from IFES several years ago. This document was translated into Arabic for this course. Participants were also provided with the IDEA Handbook on Election Management Body Design, also in Arabic. The course was run by Rushdi Nackerdien and Hermann Thiel, assisted by Sara Al-Utaibi (IFES) and Sa’ad Al Shehab (Ministry of Interior). During the workshop, Sa’ad Al Shehab received his full accreditation as a BRIDGE facilitator and becomes the first representative from the Ministry to achieve the status. This step is an important step in the growth of BRIDGE in
Participants received the training enthusiastically as this marks the first such a focus on broader strategic planning regarding elections within the Ministry. Some of the participants will go on to become governors within the different areas and this investment in their understanding of elections and planning will reap benefits in future. This session, focusing on key concepts and tools for strategic planning, is hoped to form the basis for a future follow-up which will review the 2007 elections and craft a proper strategic plan for the 2011 elections.